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Cambodia

Also know as Kampuchea, (Cambodge, Cambodja and a few other names) is a small country located in South-East Asia.  It is surround by Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and the Bay of Thailand.  The people of Cambodia are called Khmer, as is the language. The climate here is tropical, and temperatures typically range from 19 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees.  Winter time (November to February) temperatures are the lowest and Summer (May to August) is the hottest time of year.  Winter is very dry and sunny, as opposed to the Summer when rain is common.

The county is considered a third world nation, but the big cities such as Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Phnom Penh, and SihanoukVille are a mix of traditional and modern advanced civilizations.

The main languages spoken here are Khmer, a derivative of Hindi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and English.  The older generation can also speak French, studied in school when this was a French colony.  In the tourist spots around the country, you can also find Korean, Japanese, German and a few other languages.  English however is the main second language.

Cambodia is mainly a Buddhist country.  There are temples (called Wats), everywhere in the county. These are mainly used during religious holidays and for funerals.  The Buddhist religion stresses tolerance for all views and is never associated with violence. Most households and businesses light incense during the evening and say a quick prayer.  Other than that, there are no special considerations for this culture other than when meeting a Monk at a Wat or on the street. The policy when meeting a monk is generally one of humility and respect.

Food in Cambodia is mostly meats, fish, vegetables and fruits (and of course, rice). Freshwater fish can be found everywhere in the country, and seafood is plentiful around the coast and in the big cities (especially, SihanoukVille.).  Meat, such as chicken, beef, fish and pork is served at all meals. Rice is plentiful here (as is French bread). You will see along the streets, fruit vendors and snack sellers pushing a cart, or carrying food on their heads.  If you're not used to the food here, it's best to drink only bottled or canned drinks and avoid uncooked foods or fruits that are not peeled.  All the foods in the resorts and Western owned restaurants are generally safe to eat.

Electricity in Cambodia is 220 Volt and not always reliable.  All the resort hotels in the country have 24 hour electricity backed up by generators.

Medical services in Cambodia are generally quite poor. Most serious problems here are referred to Phnom Penh and then to Bangkok in Thailand.

Most of Cambodia is covered in forests.  To the North and West are mountains, and plenty of rice fields in between.  The big cities of Cambodia; Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and SihanoukVille are much more industrialized than the countryside.  The seaside cities of Kampot, Kep, SihanoukVille and Koh Kong all have ports and fishing villages.  The main port for Cambodia is in SihanoukVille.  If you're arriving by cruise ship, this will be your first adventure in Cambodia.

 

 
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